Bandwagon, the local video series featuring intimate performances from excellent bands, brings us a very special presentation today: a new three-song video from beloved Peterborough rockers the Spades.
For a while, the Spades were one of the hottest bands in Peterborough. They were a tight, savvy three-piece pushing out twangy rock’n’roll to packed crowds every Friday at the Montreal House (pour one out), and they were also touring quite a bit. They founded a record label, Pirate Radio Records, and then Tommy founded another one, Seventh Fire Records. And somewhere along the way James also turned into an in-high-demand recording engineer.
But new commitments, combined with a serious illness in the band, forced them to hit the brakes. The band played a farewell show at the 2013 Hootenanny On Hunter to a packed street. Their final message posted to Facebook before the hiatus ended “See you when the weather breaks.”
Then, in mid-2017, “Ryan [Lalonde] asked me what I thought about reaching out to the Spades for a shoot,” says Michael Hurcomb. The pair had been filming episodes of Bandwagon together, and were also working on the Peterborough music documentary The Radius Project. “I didn’t know if that was something that’d come together but told him to go for it.”
Ryan messaged the band, and eventually, on September 5, 2017, they got together to play music for the first time in over four years. “We did it completely unrehearsed and having not played in years and years,” says James McKenty.
Despite the gap, it feels like the Spades are picking up right where they left off. The video includes three songs —“Ghosts in the Machine,” “Burning on Fumes,” and “On My Mind” —plus a healthy dose of between-songs banter and footage of Spades just being Spades. And for me at least, it’s a very welcome sight. It’s good to see James McKenty being wild and manic again, it’s good to see Tommy Street on his feet again, and Josh “Chachi” Robichaud—well, it’s just good to see Chachi again.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this is a sign of a more permanent reunion—James says this was “strictly a one-off”—but he does say that there may be some previously unreleased Spades material coming out in the future.
Watch the video below.
Watch for upcoming episodes of Bandwagon premiering on Electric City Magazine. Check out previous episodes on Bandwagon’s YouTube channel.